I stayed at Princes Park Motor Inn from 18th to 24th April 6 nights. Check in was easy, quick, and the apartment I booked was a superior studio apartment of which I was advised had been fully renovated about 8 months ago. The rate was $165 AUD a night.
Princes Park is at the far end of town, on the corner of royal parade and park street. Brunswick is the local shops and it is on the corner of a very busy intersection. First off, all of the staff at the Princes park were extremely polite and very helpful. I will list the pro’s and cons.
Pro’s: The room I stayed in was very clean, having comfortable beds, a widescreen TV with all channels, a new oven, new bathroom, and newish carpet. The room had everything I needed, including plenty of powerpoints for charging video cameras, phones, running a laptop etc. The room was serviced everyday to a high standard and there was free parking. Brunswick is 50 Metres down the road and there is a coles, and 2x safeway supermarkets as well as other shops. It has a beautiful park right across the road with lake, seats, trees etc.
Brunswick is a bohemian retro type of town being like most Melbourne suburbs, very old, with lots of old vacant buildings, but also lots of happy people walking around. I would call it a bit alternative.
Cons: The apartments have been converted at some stage from a carpark building, being still evident on the lower floor where one level of the carpark remains for parking of the guests staying above. While the inside of my unit was clean and comfortable, it is obvious that all of the rooms have been smoking rooms in th past and this seems a frequent comment going by other reviews. Despite my room being renovated, it still had an odour of cigarette smoke, which can never be removed even with renovating. The exterior of the building and surroundings leaves a lot to be desired. There is no lift which means ccarrying heavy suitcases up flights of stairs. Entrance to the units is via two very old sets of iron stairs with old iron railings, then along a narrow walkway to each unit.
This gives the rear of the building somewhat of a hostel or prison like appearance. The stairs and walkway are covered with outdoor boat carpet, of which is considerably brown stained right along the front of the units from water. While there is parking by the office, the main parking is directly underneath the units and is completely open for anyone to walk through 24 hours a day and is used as a cut through from people walking up Brunswick and onto Park Street.
There is security that visits during the night, and leaves a card in your car door to show they have been, however safety of cars is a consideration overnight unless you park by the office and the fact they need this service, suggests a potential problem.
I say that because on my second night there was about 10 very drunk youths who started to party right underneath in the carpark amongst the cars, screaming, shouting, smashing bottles, this was 12.30 am. I called the office and they called security who moved them on so the matter was handled quickly and efficiently. however like most visitors with hire cars, the standard excess for damage is $3000.00 and therefore this was quite worrying. For the remainder of my stay I moved the car onto the property behind the office.
Over the remainder of the stay however frequent loud visitors seemed to cut through the bottom of the car park in the early hours of the morning, and it was difficult to sleep and did not give a great sense of ease or safety as the stairs to the rooms are open 24 hours for anyone to walk up them to the rooms. So effectively the roof they are walking under is the floor of the apartment ( if your on the 1st floor as I was )
I also found that the type of clients checking in seemed to be doing so very late, with frequent shouting and laughing very late. This is possibly as they advertise themselves as open 24 hours that it possibly attracts this type of crowd.
Road noise is a big consideration and being right on the corner of a major intersection, the road noise was constant. Light sleepers would be best to choose another location. After dark, and early hours of the morning there seemed a constant screaming if cars drag racing, speeding up the road, and lots of Motorbikes. The on site laundry cost $3 to wash a load of washing and $2 to dry it, it is in an old room across the carpark and while it is a laundry, it is absolutely filthy, with rubbish and soap powder all over the floor, and what looks like years of dust and fluff everywhere. The coin operated machines are very old and the room is locked in between washing and drying, which means constantly having to go back to the office to get the key each time to see if the washing is done.
On the whole, as far as the interior of the superior renovated studio apartment, the service from the staff, and the cleanliness of the room, it was very good. However the exterior of the building, the actual location, the bottom carpark issue, the condition of the stairs, the laundry, and the type of people that frequent the corner and carpark underneath, really lets it down. I felt safe there in the day, but early hours of the morning, did not.
They have refurbished their rooms over time, however they may be better to spend time on somehow blocking off and sealing the bottom carpark from cut through foot traffic late at night.
I would rate the staff a 10 out of 10. The interior of the apartment an 8. The area itself in what’s available is a 7. The exterior of the building, and the feel of the area at night I would have to give it a 4 simply because of the constant drunken people walking underneath, the speedsters up the road, motorbikes, shouting hoons, and car horns beeping at all hours.
Melbourne unfortunately has always had sub standard accommodation as far as Motor Inns and it’s very hard to find any that are clean and reasonably priced. Princes park ticks both of those boxes as far as price and room cleanliness and definately service. However it needs improving in areas to attract a better standard of visitor and detract the wrong crowd from loitering underneath the building.
Despite the honest comments about the not so good aspects of the facilities, Princes park still provided good value for money, clean and comfortable, and top service.
Choose a recently renovated room, around the side behind the office and do not park in the main unde...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
May 22, 2012
Dear Dave J,
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Thank you for your valuable feedback, we are delighted that you found our rooms clean, comfortable and well maintained.
We also thank you for your honest comments highlighting your concerns during your stay, and would like to allay them.
Due to our central location, exceptional accessibility to public transport and close proximity to the city and local attractions; we do on odd occasions get isolated complaints about noise pollution. It is important to us that our guests are provided the best stay and nights sleep possible; and if we had been informed during your visit of your concern we could have immediately rectified it by moving you to a quieter room towards reception. This would have significantly improved your sleep away from the Friday & Saturday night revellers as well as traffic from the main road.
We would like to point out that our security patrol service is provided for peace of mind to our guests, and we have never had an instance of malicious vehicle damage or theft at our property in the 10+ years that I have been here. This is because our public areas are very well lit as well as being monitored in some sections by CCTV and the previously mentioned security patrols.
As you mentioned, when an impromptu party threatened to start it was dealt with quickly and efficiently by our staff; which is testament to our professional approach.
We apologise for the odour of cigarettes that you felt was in the room. We have received feedback on this issue in the last month, and we have resolved this by spring cleaning all air-conditioner filters and curtains in the block. We also apologise for the state that you found the guest laundry in. Unfortunately not all our guests leave the laundry in an acceptable state, which is why we clean it twice a day; in the AM and late afternoon.
Also note that we do offer assistance in moving guest luggage to our rooms, upon request.
I do hope that I have allayed your concerns somewhat, and would like to inform you that from the start of June, we will be offering a Free WiFi service to guests. We would love to see you again when you next visit Melbourne.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.